A General Definition of Deviance

A General Definition of Deviance - societies as deviant...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
A General Definition of Deviance Deviance is behavior that some people in society find offensive and which excites, or would excite, if it were discovered, disapproval, punishment, condemnation, or hostility . Deviance is behavior that is likely to get you into trouble. Deviant behavior is outside the bounds of the group or society (Goode, 1997:37). Many times during a day we disagree with people, but we don't usually label those we disagree with as deviant. Deviance is not simply behavior. It involves a moral judgment . Deviance involves a judgment made by somebody. Actually, any act can be defined as deviant (See Henslin, 1999:192). Deviance: A Relative Term It's not possible to isolate certain acts and find them universally condemned by all
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: societies as deviant acts (Not even murder or incest). Even within a given society, behavior defined as deviant continually undergoes redefinition. Deviance, furthermore, is relative to time and place . It is not possible to find something that is absolutely condemned by all societies. Behavior that is deviant in one society may not be in another. Even within one society, what is deviant today may not be deviant tomorrow. Three examples that highlight the relative nature of deviance are provided below: Is killing wrong? Usually it is. But, is murder wrong when it is done in self-defense or in warfare? Vietnam veterans were taught to be efficient killers for war, but could not control themselves...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online